Besides stylish clothes and beautiful paper, fashion is a multibillion dollar business. And like any other major-grossing creative industry, there are artists and there are labels, and then there are companies and corporations that sometimes own them, forming conglomerates as they buy up other designers and labels to add to their portfolio.
And while talk of conglomerates and acquisitions may seem a tad too insider-y, it's actually quite dishy, especially given the recent flare-ups between Hermès, the mostly family-owned French fashion house, and LVMH, the world's largest luxury conglomerate which recently—and somewhat underhandedly—acquired a 17.1 percent stake in the company. A manager for the Hermès family responded by calling LVMH a "mosquito buzzing around," in addition to making other public comments to the conglomerate that basically sum up to this: back off.
Furthermore, at this week's opening party for a new Hermès store in Paris, the Hermès family invited Salma Hayak, who just so happens to be married to François-Henri Pinault, owner of PPR, the luxury holding company behind Gucci Group—and LVMH's biggest rival—to the event. While Hayak is a fixture at many a fashion fete, this particular invite was clearly a strategic one on the part of Hermès. Whether or not a hostile takeover actually occurs between LVMH and the french label, it's safe to say that things are definitely hostile.
Here's a primer on fashion's largest conglomerates—and what they own:
*LVMH also recently acquired a sizable amount of eco-fashion label Edun
**Christian Dior is owned by Groupe Arnault, which has over a stake of over 40 percent in LVMH, meaning that Christian Dior and LVMH have same owner ties, but one doesn't necessarily own the other.
Gucci Group, which owns:
Yves Saint Laurent
Van Cleef & Arpels
Viktor & Rolf
Maison Martin Margiela